Education, Moving to Canada, Open Work Permit, Permanent Resident, Post-Graduation Work Permit, Student Visa, Work

Moving to Canada: The Student’s Path

Coming from the changes made to the Comprehensive Ranking System for Canadian Express Entry, it seems that the popular consensus is that the best way to get invited for Permanent Residency is to get a Provincial Nomination from the many different provinces in Canada.

This might be true for most people, but for those who are able and willing to take a longer-term approach to become a permanent resident of Canada, there is another path to obtaining a PR and that is through getting a Canadian student visa.

Canadian student visa

A Student Visa then a Post-Graduation Work Permit

Obviously, a student visa is not a permanent resident visa, but being a student in Canada will give you a better chance at landing a PR visa down the road because of the opportunities it may present to you after you graduate.

Simply put, as long as you enroll in a participating Canadian post-secondary institution, you will, upon graduation, be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. The length of this work permit will match the length of your time of study in Canada, but it will not be longer than three years. Keep in mind though that the length of your study program must not be less than eight months to apply for a PGWP.

For example, upon graduation from a two year college/university course in Canada. You will be eligible for a post-graduation work visa with a validity of anywhere between eight months and two years.

As a Student, Will I Be Able to Work? 

Of course, not everybody can afford to be a full-time student in Canada without a source of income.

Well, it’s a good thing that as a full-time student, you will be allowed to work full time as long as the job is inside your school/campus. For off-campus work, a maximum of 20 hours is allowed when classes are in session and full-time work will be allowed when classes are not in session.

By already being able to work as a student, an immigrant can already gain some “Canadian work experience” under his belt (something that is extremely valuable for someone that is applying for a “non-survival” job.)

What About My Spouse? 

Just like you, your spouse will also be able to work! Spouses of student visa holders are able to apply for an open work permit, which will allow him/her to work full time while you are studying.

How Will This Help Me Become a Permanent Resident?

After graduation, your marketability in the Express Entry pool will increase in multiple aspects:

  • First, additional points will be given to you based on your Canadian education. Those points will be added to any points you already have from your education in your home country.
  • Points will also be awarded to you if you chose to work during your time as a student and for your employment with your PGWP since you will effectively have the very sought after “Canadian work experience”.
  • Finally, if you get a job and do well after graduation. It will also be possible for your employer to sponsor you to become a permanent resident.

Why Aren’t More People Doing This?

For most people, they just don’t have the resources to pursue further studies in Canada. Degrees in Canada are not cheap and even if the ability to work while studying is there, it will be very, very hard to make ends meet. It’s also difficult to accept the risk of still not being able to become a permanent resident after investing a lot of time and money studying in Canada.

Personally, N and I almost went this route when it seemed that our application for a Provincial Nomination wasn’t going anywhere. It was something that I really considered and we would’ve probably tried our luck with it, had our Prince Edward Island Provincial Nomination not push through.

Is a student’s path to permanent residency worth the time and effort? We would love to get your thoughts! Moving to Canada will be a daunting task for anyone and If there’s anything you want to ask, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

8 thoughts on “Moving to Canada: The Student’s Path”

  1. Hello again!

    Surprisingly, I also applied for PEI nomination in may 2016, and I’m yet to hear from them. A cavaet- I replied again 2 days before.

    I’m also seriously considering the path of being a university student. But with 7 years of work experience (both me and my wife) and with a 2.5 year old kid, the risk is too obvious.

    Applicants to student visa should prove strong ties to their homeland. Our profile sounds like we want to leave our homeland at any cost 😀 lol

    I think fresh under grads, who are still single with 1-2 years of exp. can choose this route. It is more ideal for them !

    1. Would your current job / career now benefit from an MBA / Graduate degree? If yes, then I think the Canadian institutions should accept you.

      Of course, this path will take a lot of patience and possibly money, so it’s really not for everyone.

      May I ask where you’re from? It’s really quite interesting to see so many people from many different nationalities wanting to immigrate to Canada. 🙂

  2. Yes, I’m looking at that option too 🙂 I’m from India (south of India) and currently live in Kuwait! good luck to you 🙂
    I’ve got in touch with a Ukrainian who has also received their nomination from PEI, and have submitted their passports (they are a family with one child) and another Italian, who is currently living in Vietnam! Good luck to you:)

    I’ll have to say big thanks to you for this blog. I read it everyday, trying to glean ideas from this. Even though I have an immigration lawyer who does the filling job, I feel that I need to participate it more actively. Feel remorse for loosing a year looking for jobs, only to hear that jobs are given to candidates who are in canada and are legally permitted to work 🙁 🙁 Don’t know why Express entry insists on finding a job (guess it is for candidates who are already in Canada)

    1. Thanks for your kind words Joel, happy to hear that we were able to help you even in a small way. 🙂

      Where did you meet the Ukrainian family and Italian? Would love to expand our network before going to PEI as well.

      Don’t feel bad about looking for jobs! I mean, it’s not 100% impossible to get a job from outside of Canada. Consider it an experience of what it’s like to look for a job once you are in Canada. But you are right though, since there are a lot of candidates who are already in Canada (students, temporary workers etc.), the job component of Express Entry is mostly for them.

      Did you send a letter of intent to Ontario? I hear that they’re opening their Provincial Nomination up again next week.

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